Nothing happens until someone buys your product and shoppers can’t buy what they can’t find.  The path to sustainable sales and getting your product in the hands of more shoppers is critical to increasing sustainable food production and sales.  It is the key to more organic farming, healthy product innovation, reduced obesity, food allergies and supporting a food ecosystem that is sustainable beyond tomorrow.  Nowhere is this truer than in natural.  The competitive landscape is changing and the old strategies simply are not enough.

Natural brands and retailers need to become more strategic, this does not mean compromising your principles.  On the contrary, this is their strength and their principles should be at the heart of every strategy.  This means focusing on the value they create and leveraging that at retail and with consumers.  Consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality and healthy products.  Healthy products are responsible for most of the growth in every channel and across every category.

To begin to develop your strategy over the next year, it’s wise to reflect on the previous year.

  • Did you achieve all your objectives?

  • Did you reach all your goals?  What would you have done differently given the opportunity?

  • Did your actual results match your goals, those projections that you set?

These are all important questions you need to answer.  This is the first place to start when you are developing a strong business strategy.  Next, look at the goals themselves, were your previous goals reasonable and achievable?  Don’t set goals that are unattainable, be reasonable.  For example, I’d like to lose weight, but losing 25 pounds by the end of the week is not going to happen.  Your goals should be smart, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  Set goals that will encourage and motivate you.  Set your business goals at least six to twelve months ahead on the calendar and give yourself plenty of time to achieve them.  Unfortunately, a lot of brands are on autopilot.  Did you know that a plane flying from LA to Hawaii is off course most of the time?  There are concept adjustments that the pilot needs to make and even on autopilot needs to make to keep that course.

The same holds true for your business.  If you don’t have a well-defined target, how will you know if you ever hit it?  More importantly, how will you know if you ever get off course.  It’s critical to make sure that you are constantly moderating your strategies and your success as you go forward.  That’s the focus of this section.

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